Last fall I created some graphics for a slide show for our annual library reception event to demonstrate some of what we do via stats and graphics. This was such a fun side project and I couldn’t have done it without the data gathering help of Helen Look and others.
Archive for the 'visualization' Category
This is the second year of the University of Michigan Library’s iDesign competition. This year’s theme is virtual browsing and the challenge is to design an innovative tool which will enhance MLibrary’s discovery environment.
We received some fantastic entries! I especially appreciate the projects that employed UX research methods to inform their designs. If you are so inclined, you can vote on the projects or just have a look at the individual projects:
“…a recommender system could be developed to utilize this rich set of knowledge to curate subsets of the overall library collections, which could then be used to make recommendations to users. A large number of these subsets from across the university could be interconnected and used to surface new content to users, enhance their experience, and break down artificial barriers created by different subject areas.”
“Ever lend a book to a friend? Ever wish they would bring it back? Forget who you lent it to in the first place? MyLibrary will finally let you keep track of your personal collection.”
Designs for an improved multi-search interface
A-oi-de [ey-oi-dee] – noun: “A virtual browsing system that aims to facilitate new methods of interpreting search results through virtualized representations of audio CD materials for the University of Michigan’s Music Library.”
A visual browser for Askwith Media Library
I just found this fantastic information graphic from Business Week that demonstrates what people are doing online and is broken down by age range. I particularly like the categories used: Creators, Critics, Collectors, Joiners, Spectators, Inactives.
Looking at the Youth (18-21) column, social networking is the top activity for this group with 70% participating. I think this definitely supports the argument for “being where our patrons are.” At the very least, that we should be aware of where they are and think about how it informs their use of the web.
As an obsessive RSS & Delicious user, I find it somewhat difficult to believe that there’s relatively little activity going on in the “Collectors” category. Maybe these technologies just fit a niche need (the need to share links, need to have a central bookmark collection, the need to read way too many blogs).
If you know me, you know that I LOVE CHARTS! So obviously I was pleased to learn that Google has just released an API for making charts – pie charts, bar charts, venn diagrams, scatter plots, and line charts.
Here’s a test chart I made showing the holdings of the UM library as of 2006 (note: I rounded and simplified the categories). Its fairly easy to do – you just link to an image that is called via a URL, plug your chart type and data into the URL, and the graphic will be dynamically generated for you.
So, there are no more excuses for showing tables and tables of boring stats – put it in a chart!
[Link: Google Chart API]
Another fantastic video from the TED conference.
In a follow-up to his now-legendary TED2006 presentation, Hans Rosling demonstrates how developing countries are pulling themselves out of poverty. He shows us the next generation of his Trendalyzer software — which analyzes and displays data in amazingly accessible ways, allowing people to see patterns previously hidden behind mountains of stats. (Ten days later, he announced a deal with Google to acquire the software.) He also demos Dollar Street, a program that lets you peer in the windows of typical families worldwide living at different income levels. Be sure to watch straight through to the (literally) jaw-dropping finale.
I am such a sucker for this kind of thing. I especially like the newspaper interface because it’s such a great solution to current “real estate” issues. And there’s just something really nice about how smooth the zooming is – similar to the iphone and the multi-touch interface.